The big 3-OH!

I haven’t posted in a bit. I’ve had a lot of thoughts running through my head and we’ve had a lot going on so there really hasn’t been time, or the clarity to bring it all together. This morning Chris and Matt are headed to Port to deliver some filters to one of the prisons. Chris just called to tell me they had a flat, and that the spare was flat too. They’re in Montrouis. Montrouis is 10 minutes away. They left an hour ago. The person they were supposed to meet before going to the prison is already waiting for them in Port. That sucks. But, this is life here and we all just kind of shrug our shoulders and do the Haitian hand slap that loosely means “I don’t know”. I think there’s a slight eye brow cock in there and a bit of a lip raise too. 
So, while the house is quiet I’m going to blog. Olivia is here with me chatting away to herself, or maybe to me. Probably both. 
We had an eventful weekend. Matt and I went to St. Marc on Friday to pick up a bunch of stuff for a get together on Saturday. Today is my birthday, the big 3-OH, and I told Chris several months ago that I wanted to celebrate with friends this year because it was a big one. He remembered and a week and a half ago told me that he was inviting a bunch of people out. There was about 20 of us and we had a really good time just hanging out. Chris also remembered one of my other requests – a cheesecake from Madame Belliard, our favorite bakery in all of Haiti. I know several hands worked together to get it to us from Port and it was a treat! The whole day was really nice. 


Sunday was Missionary Meeting day and because most of the other area missionaries are gone for the summer there was only 9 of us, but we had a really good time of fellowship and connecting which I enjoyed. Later in the afternoon we went to visit some friends in Montrouis. 
Yesterday was also Father’s Day. Chris’ first Father’s Day. It was very low key. We’ve decided that until our kids are old enough understand the significance there isn’t much point in getting all excited about the day(s). It, along with my birthday has had me thinking about a lot of stuff though.

I think 30 is a milestone simply because you’ve gotten far enough in your life to have enough time and space to actually accomplish something. Looking back over the last 30 years, if someone would have told me that this is what my life would be today, I wouldn’t have believed them. I think most of us feel that way at some point. I really, honestly, did not ever see myself doing what I’m doing though. In fact my life picture was probably very much the opposite. I often think that God has a pretty good sense of humor. 
The amazing thing is that I love my life. I love the man that God brought into my life and that I get to spend the rest of it with him. I love that it’s not alway easy, but that we work through stuff in our marriage and that we have a pretty solid relationship because of it. I love that he is the father of my child because he’s such a fantastic Dad. I love that we get to do this together. This whole crazy thing. Haiti, adoption, leading, following, figuring things out…all of it. 
I love being a Mom. I didn’t really know what to expect with this whole thing. I remember sitting in Olivia’s room before we ever knew about her, just wondering when she would come to us, what her story would be, and asking God why we had to wait. In all, we really only waited about a month, but it felt so long because we felt so ready to take this step. Then the phone call came and life changed for us in a matter of minutes. Things that we thought we could never do we realized we might be able to do. Her story was scary and complicated and sad and beautiful. It still is. At the time I thought there was no way we could take a child with special needs, and now here we are with a beautiful baby girl, still waiting for the final test results of her last HIV test to come back, but not really caring what they say. To us Olivia is perfect. 
Watching a child grow and develop has to be one of the greatest experiences in life. I really try to be present with her in the sense that I want to be aware of all the little things. Even when I’m exhausted or feel like I have nothing to give. Those are the times where I force myself to spend more time with her and to be more receptive to her and I’m so very glad because those are often the most fulfilling. I am learning more about the true face of unconditional love. I get it in a way that I didn’t before.
Liv has had a lot going on in the past week. Just developmental stuff that we’ve really noticed. It’s amazing how fast it can come. One day she can’t do something, the next day she can. She has been interested in toys, but just yesterday I saw that change and she actually started pursuing things and deliberately putting them to her mouth to chew on them. There’s a thought process that has intentions there. On Thursday night she hit my favorite milestone so far – she started laughing. Not just the random giggle here and there, full on laughter. I was just playing with her and started kissing her neck when she let out this amazing laugh. I kept doing it and she just kept laughing. Chris and I were both totally amazed and it hit me in a really emotional way. Most of her milestones have been developmental in the sense that she’s increasing her motor skills and what not. Laughter is a response that one chooses to have, it’s interaction, it’s intentional. It hit Chris and I because Olivia was responding and interacting with us in a way she hadn’t before. Since then we’ve seen more of her personality coming out and her looking for new ways to interact with us. It’s so fun. Just yesterday as I was feeding her some rice cereal she realized she could blow bubbles with it in her mouth and we started a game of her blowing bubbles with it and spitting it all out and me shoving it back in. The game went on for about 5 minutes because I was fascinated with watching her go through the thought process, and she was fascinated with the fact that she was making me laugh so hard I was almost crying. 

Kids are amazing, and I love being a Mom. I think that aside from marriage it is the most difficult, challenging and yet rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. Every day there is something new and different. 
I like being 30. I love my life. I’m looking forward to seeing what else is coming. 
Speaking of things coming and time moving, I’m amazed at how fast time can move here while it also feels like it just plugs along. I think it’s because I’m often looking at the calendar bracing myself for things to come. We have a busy ministry year still ahead of us and at this moment in time August is the only month that has nothing happening – yet. Much of it will hinge on the dorms and their completion, which should be around that time and that means we’ll fill August up with classes that are much needed right now.
Until then we have some happy, exciting things going on. The main one is one that we weren’t expecting, but is one of the best surprises. Last Friday Chris’ brother booked a ticket to come see us – this week! He’s arriving on Thursday and we’re so excited. He was here in 2004 and filmed our mission promo video. You can check it out on our website – www.cleanwaterforhaiti.org – on the Multi Media page. 
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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

4 thoughts on “The big 3-OH!

  1. Happy Birthday Leslie!! I’m glad to see that there is someone else out there that is okay with turning 30!! I love that you are so open and upfront with us – your blog readers! I love seeing and experiencing life in Haiti through your posts. I’m glad that you had a great weekend and that you got cheesecake from Madame Belliard’s! (I’ve been there – YUMMY!!) I can’t believe I will be in Haiti in 37 days!! I miss it all so much and can’t wait to be back…. I hope that we get the chance to connect while I am in country!

  2. Happy birthday to you…Happy birthday to you…Happy birthday dear Leslie….Happy birthday to you….Don’t I sing nice in a cappella!V

  3. Your cherry cheese cake was hands down better than the carmel one we got – I have to remember that! Happy Birthday!

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